UK Sport’s 15th annual World Class Performance Conference got underway in London this evening, the final gathering before the Rio 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games.
With almost 250 days to go until the Olympic and Paralympic games, this year’s conference theme is “realising ambition”. Aiming to create an environment where the high performance community can discuss the challenges ahead and work together to share knowledge, experience and wisdom.
UK Sport Chair, Rod Carr, spoke of the massive collective effort needed to achieve the ambitious goal of doing what no host nation has ever done before and win more medals in the Games after hosting.
“The high performance community are all working incredibly hard to stay ahead of the opposition,” he said. “We recognise this success can only be achieved through working in partnership with sports, the British Olympic Association and the British Paralympic Association and their world class workforce and athletes.”
Liz Nicholl, Chief Executive of UK Sport, congratulated sports for the incredible strides they have made towards success and celebrated the recent milestone of reaching 15,000 athlete volunteer appearances since London 2012.
“Congratulations to all those with athletes that have already achieved qualification,” said Nicholl.
“Our National Lottery funded athletes have now delivered 15,000 volunteer days since London 2012. By continuing to share their personal stories of aspiring to be the best they can be, athletes can help contribute to inspiring a proud, ambitious, healthy and active nation.
The conference opened with an inspirational message from one of Britain’s greatest ever Olympians, Ben Ainslie, on how he realised his ambitions and overcame challenges.
“I have known Ben since he was 12 years old and was with him in Atlanta when he won a silver medal at just 19 years old, I knew then he was something special,” said UK Sport Chair Carr.
“People ask: What sets him apart? Well exceptional spatial awareness, unrelenting drive and determination and a ruthlessness on the water which belies his unassuming demeanour on land. It’s worth recognising the value star athletes like him can bring to the UK.”
UK Sport’s annual conference brings together coaches, practitioners and leaders from the British high performance sports community to meet, debate and share best practice across key themes influencing athletes’ performances.
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